BYC Member Interview - Molpet

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by sumi, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Tipperary, Ireland
    Maureen, known to BYC members as Molpet, has been a member of our community since September, 2015. Another of our wonderful all-rounders, she is known for her friendliness and good advice.

    1. Tell us a bit more about yourself.

    Hi I am Maureen Peterson. My parents raised and showed St Bernards, Basset hounds and a few Pekinees. We also had cats and horses.

    I have always had animals. Like a lot of kids, I would drag home any stray or injured animal. Parents were not thrilled and a lot of animals would be mysteriously dead/gone when I got home from school. Especially baby possums and rodents in cages hid my closet :barnie

    Mack was found on the road by his dead mother and siblings

    mack in the 70's.jpg

    Wild E. was found under a gooseberry bush in the back woodlot when my dog decided to squeak his siblings. They still had the umbilical cord and I thought they were stay dog pups :gig

    Didn't need any more stray dogs so I thought I would raise and find a home for them.. coyotes were rare around here back then. .. FYI they make terrible pets. He was fine in the house with the cats, but out in the yard he would chase them.... never did get him fully housebroken... but he would stand over the basement drain and urinate. :lol:

    When he was about 2 and 1/2, he mysteriously disappeared out of a secure pen.. parents didn't know anything .. yeah right. :rant They were worried he would turn on me.

    wild e and pookie.jpg

    Several times exhausted tame sky rats, I mean pigeons :oops: would show up. Cared for and sent on their way in a couple of days... This one knocked at the door and walked in.

    lost sky rat.jpg

    I grew up on part of the farm my Grandmother inherited from her parents, and I inherited from my parents.

    I took pre-vet in High School, but the veterinary college took 10 women a year back then. There was 20 women in my HS class alone, so I didn't have a chance. :hit I really wish counsellors would tell people this upfront, instead of filling classes.

    In college I took forestry classes, until I found out there were only 200 full time forest rangers in the USA. Most people worked for a lumber company. Not the direction I was intending. Then I started taking landscaping, of course that was about when the big box stores opened selling plants and people did it themselves. :he

    I was working at Kmart and as a student worker in grounds at the college. Then I was offered a job in custodial at the college. I figured that would do until I figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up :lau

    After a few months, I decided I didn't want to do that all my life. I started taking classes in electrical and pneumatics. With the additional education I qualified for a promotion to maintenance. I took more classes in HVC and boilers and qualified for another promotion... was the first and only woman in that department, until after I retired.. At the end I mainly scheduled and maintained heating/ cooling equipment and located utilities for construction.

    locating utilities at JJC.jpg

    I retired in 2012. :wee

    2. Why and when did you start keeping chickens?

    At about 8-10 yrs old, someone who had bought a puppy gave me a pair of black chickens that laid blue eggs. They said the breed was new to the USA. We didn't have a secure coop/run. There was a 100 yr old coop that the roof was falling in that we put them in. A few weeks later I came home from school and parents said my great Uncles dog came over and killed them. :he

    Then in HS, my advance biology had chicks to experiment on. We weighed them and injected opposite sex hormones. We recorded how the hormones causes changes in combs etc, cockerels had small combs and pullets large. When the semester was over, guess who took 20 leghorns home. :ya
    Still didn't have a decent coop. Parents said there was no money to predator proof the old coop and the coons and possums wiped them out before winter. :rant

    Fast forward 40 or so years

    Back in 2015 I was looking for something to keep me busy in the winter that would pay for itself ....:gig

    I brought home 2 free mix cockerels in Oct.

    I wanted to see if I really wanted chickens again and if I could train the dog to not eat them. Of course I still didn't have a coop. Since parents were long gone I stuck them in a parrot cage in the living room. They were a little cramped..and very smelly...The next day I repaired and turned a 4x4x4 dog house (I had made for the pet coyote) into a coop....I had picked up some plywood scraps with a "free to good home" sign, on the way home with the cockerels... amazing how God provides ...Typical of a new chicken owner, get the birds and then build the coop.

    Max had chased the wild turkey, Hawks and anything else. I read BeeKissed's method, along with the use of an e collar, within a couple of weeks he was fine with them...

    Well what was the sense of having 2 boys without hens. So I bought 6 POL pullets and started building a 8x24' hoop coop. I figured I would eat 1 cockerel. Well in spring I still had 2 and they were starting to be too much for the hens. I had heard that the CX were emotionally easier to dispatched, so I bought a few cx, 2 BR and 2 BBB.

    cx chick.jpg big r chciks.jpg

    Then I read duluthralphies post about how to keep CX alive longer and cross breeding them. So now I had healthy friendly CX hens that pulled on my pant leg for attention. It was very hard but I did process all but 1 of the cx , the br pullet and the broadest roo of the two. BEST CHICKEN MEAT EVER. I was hooked

    3. Which aspect(s) of chicken keeping do you enjoy the most?

    Watching chicken TV ... best show ever

    Love a broody with chicks


    4. Which members of your flock, past and present, stand out for you and why?

    Has to be the turkeys. They are different than chickens. They are more aware of the world.

    KIMG0233_01 (1).jpg group photo dec 2017.jpg

    I raise all the poultry for food so I don't name many. Some seem to get names though.

    Lucky is a barred cx mix that at 8 wks had a hawk attack her. I was out there a couple of hundred feet away when I heard the alert and seen something brown flash by. I ran over and an immature coopers hawk was ripping at her neck. It took off and I picked up her limp body thinking she would die soon. Blood out of her eyes and mouth, back of her neck ripped up, puncture wounds on her body. It was the end of October so I stuck her in my shirt to keep her warm. I was going to cull her, but she cheeped. So I brought her in the house, put a drop of nutri drench in her mouth and put her under a mama heating pad. She survived and spent all winter in a parrot cage in the living room, watching tv and the world out the window. She didn't act like a chicken she just sat there watching. No scratching, no noise, just sitting or standing. Right eye was squinty and she didn't have good balance.

    This was about a month after the attack, her neck looked good.


    In the spring I would take her out on good days and she would just stand there until a chicken would chase her, then she lopsidedly ran and stood somewhere else. She would come to the fence at night for me to pick her up. Her sisters had been laying for a month and I was beginning to regret saving her.. what was I going to do with a house chicken that didn't lay. Sure couldn't process her now.
    I was thinking of finding a good home for her, but who wants a chicken that doesn't lay. :oops:
    Finally she started laying the end of April. She started to have better coordination but still has vision issues in her right eye.....The flock started to accept her on the fringes. Then one night she didn't come to the fence, she went in the coop :wee

    I have to say I did miss carrying her and watching tv with her. :hmm

    Her eggs hatched under another hen and she did go broody in June, but nothing hatched. So I gave her a chick from a different broody. She was quite happy and did a good job raising her step daughter. She is still the lowest hen, but she seems content. She doesn't come to me or let me pick her up without a fuss.. it's like she blocked that whole episode. :(

    5. What was the funniest (chicken related) thing(s) that happened to you in your years as chicken owner?

    One gusty day a plastic bag dropped from the sky and pandemonium broke out. Birds running and screaming every which way, chickens hiding any and everywhere. A gust would catch it and it would swirl towards some birds and I couldn't stop laughing long enough to grab it. When it would quit moving the turkeys would circle it and when a gust caught it and swirled it up above their heads they didn't know what to do. This happened several times. The last time it moved just a little and the circling turkeys attacked. Ripped it to shreds and they look quite pleased with themselves to have vanquished the foe.

    6. Beside chickens, what other pets do you keep?

    Max,:love about 11 now, a St Bernard/Newfie. I got from a shelter in 2011. He was 3 and turned in when a womans husband died, she couldn't handle him. He did require a lot of training, :he:he:he but I am used to large dogs. He likes to chase hawks and coyotes, but sleeps alot now days.

    Max when I first got him.jpg

    max with his ball.jpg

    7. Anything you'd like to add?

    BYC has been a Godsend. I don't think I would have tried to have chickens again without the encouraging articles on predator proofing.

    I had bad experiences with heat lamps over puppies as a kid and never would have gotten chicks if it hadn't been for Blooie's post on using a heating pad cave. :love
    Byc is Such a wonderful resource to have at my fingertips :bow

    See here for more about the interview feature and a complete list of member interviews:
  2. N F C

    N F C Poo happens, move on

    Dec 12, 2013
    Wonderful interview @Molpet! I enjoyed all the pictures you included and the stories. Thanks for sharing with us :D
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Great Interview!!
    I always enjoy your posts.
  4. Brahmachicken240

    Brahmachicken240 Free Ranging

    Dec 26, 2018
    Lovely interview!
  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Wonderful Interview!
    So nice to get to know more about you, thank you for sharing:)
  6. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Did you candle today?

    Wondering interview. I loved all of your stories.
    Max :th
    I bet he would like to play with Puckers!
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Great interview. Great pictures - especially the coyote and cat.
  8. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Did you candle today?

    Rats in a cage in the closet. :barnie
  9. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds!

    Feb 9, 2015
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    :clap Awesome interview! I absolutely love the story of Lucky (sorry she has blocked it out now) and the plastic bag story had me rolling! :lau

    Loved it all, thank you for sharing!
  10. Molpet

    Molpet Free Ranging

    Naw not rats... Although I think my parents put possums in that category

    usually baby Voles, Chipmunks, deer mice, rabbits, squirrel, shrews,

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